- Electors in poll-bound West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry will be the first to use e-voter card
- From today (1 February2021), all voters will be able to download their digital voter ID card if their mobile number is linked with the Election Commission (EC)
What is a digital photo identity card?
- The digital photo identity card or e-elector photo identity card is a non-editable digital version of the elector photo identity card and can be saved in facilities such as a digital locker just like PAN, Aadhaar or your DL.
Physical voter card
- The physical voter card would continue to be in use.
- The physical card takes time to print and reach the voter, and the idea is to provide faster delivery and easy accessibility to the document.
- Introduced in 1993, the elector photo identity cards are accepted as proof of identity and address.
Steps to download digital voter ID cards
- Go to voterportal.eci.gov.in.
- Create an account by entering the relevant details.
- Log in and go to the menu which says ‘Download e-EPIC’.
- Enter your EPIC number or form reference number.
- A one-time password (OTP) will be sent to your registered mobile number.
- Now, click on ‘Download EPIC.’
- You will have to complete the Know Your Customer (KYC) process to download the card if the mobile number mentioned on the card is different.
- After updating the number through KYC, you can download the digital voter ID card.
- If you’ve lost your e-EPIC number, you can check for it on voterportal.eci.gov.in.
- The digital voter ID card can also be generated from the voter mobile app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
Voting Rights in India
- With elections under way in many states of India, all Indian citizens who are eligible to vote are given a chance to exercise their franchise and participate in the electoral process. The Indian Constitution has granted the right to vote to all Indian citizens of sound mind above the age of 18, irrespective of an individual’s caste, religion, social or economic status. This right is universally granted to all Indians, with a few exceptions.
- As a voter, you are entitled to certain rights and privileges as laid down by the Constitution, which safeguards the rights of the voter. It also lays down the conditions under which this privilege is granted to citizens. Voting is not a fundamental right, but is a legal right granted to citizens.
- So what are the rights granted to voters in India? Given below are some of the rights and duties of voters.
Who Can Vote?
- As per the Indian Constitution, all Indian citizens above the age of 18 years who have registered themselves as voters are eligible to vote. These individuals can vote in national, state, district as well as local government body elections.
- No individual can be detained or prevented from voting, unless they fulfil the criteria for disqualification.
- Every voter is allowed one vote only. A voter can vote at the constituency where he has registered himself only.
- Eligible voters have to register themselves in the constituency where they live, upon which they will be issued photo election identity cards (also known as EPIC cards). Individuals are not permitted to participate in the electoral process if they have not registered or do not possess a voter ID card.
Disqualification from Voting Process
- The Indian Constitution has laid down the following rules regarding disqualification of voters from the election process:
- Individuals who are convicted of offences committed under Section 171E (which deals with bribery) and Section 171F (which deals with personation or undue influence at an election) of the Indian Penal Code are disqualified from participating in elections.
- Those convicted of offences under Section 125 (which deals with various electoral offences), Section 135 and Section 136 of the Representation of People’s Act face disqualification from elections.
- If an individual votes in more than one constituency, his vote is disqualified. Under Section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, individuals in lawful custody of the police and those serving a sentence of imprisonment after conviction cannot vote. Undertrial prisoners are also excluded from participating in elections even if their names are on electoral rolls.
- Only those under preventive detention can cast their vote through postal ballots.